A 1993 poetry reading CD was included in the Stand Up To Be Discontinued exhibition book and later reproduced in the Pearls Before Swine book. It included readings of the following poems:

At the time, many found the recording shocking and upsetting. This was the first time Don Van Vliet had been widely heard in public since 1982’s Ice Cream For Crow and the intervening 11 years had clearly not been kind. He sounded far older than his 52 years and rumours of illness seemed to have confirmation.

Today, I think they sound beautiful and the dignity and fragility in his voice adds a poignancy to the recordings, especially on Fallin’ Ditch with its theme of avoiding that which is inevitable for us all.


  1. so beautiful, thank you Don and thank you kindly for sharing this. i was playing the video on top of itself in a new tab every time a poem finished so it all slowly meshes into one giant poem, heavy stuff

  2. Such an intelligent and artistic man. The world is a better place for his sacrifices and hard work in what he did. I’m glad it ended well for him.

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